Your married mother tells you;
“It’s either you want to get married or you don’t. It’s either you want to be tied down and enslaved for the rest of your life or you want to be a lonely cat lady living painfully ever after. It’s either you want to belong to your man or you want to belong to men who are looking for solace in between your thighs. But, no matter what you choose, you will never be fulfilled as a woman; make sure you choose the unhappiness you can bear.”
Because confinement has never tickled your fancy, you tell fate to shove happy endings down her throat, and give you a chunk that allows you to fearlessly follow your dreams. Single, she giggles.
There are many parts of your that cringe during this meal, because you constantly remember your aunt’s ordeal; her sighs are war-cry ambiances, she’ll never admit it, but she longs and overcompensates for the man who is supposed to be next to her. Just as you are about to change your option, you remember that your mother paid her own lobola, bought her own ring, and practically married herself because your dad has always been a shadow. Then you decide how you don’t want to dim your light for anyone, so single it is.
So, your path becomes meaningless. At some point you sit down and ask yourself; why am I not meeting the right person? Why is it that every time I want someone, they don’t want me? Or when someone wants me, I don’t want them? And, the ones I don’t want are usually the most loving? You sit down, unpack it only to realise you carry too much from your childhood that there is no space to want anything, you’ve really just been going for what you know. Absence. This absence has been activated by your hyper-awareness of how absent men will be, so you wanted them but acted like you didn’t. At least that way, they would be absent on your terms. They would be absent because you didn’t want them to be present. But, whenever they fled without a word, you would be close to suicidal, because their tapping out always revealed (to you) the fact that you are unlovable. It boldly said; every single person in your childhood who didn’t love you was right – who could possibly love you? You deserve to be left and never chosen.
After many of these patterns, you finally ask yourself; what do I want? You realise that the people who taught you that you were not worth being chosen (the people you have chosen to believe up to this point) were wrong, VERY WRONG. You want someone to see you, choose you, believe in you, trust you and choose this every single day. You want to fall in love, fearlessly. You want to tell someone your fears and dreams, you want to be completely vulnerable and still maintain your strength. Then, you have to admit that your mother was wrong because somewhere deep in your mind, you always imagined a marriage which is outside her binary descriptions of marriage. Your mother was wrong. If you want to, you will meet someone who will be both selfish and selfless, and you won’t have to choose between yourself and the marriage. Marriage will always be about you, darling, and a mirror of the relationship you have with yourself. So, your mother never chose herself too that’s why she died in her marriage.
And now, every time you are about to fall into the same traps, that place in you where God abides reminds you;
“All the things you want from a partner are all things you are capable of, start doing them by yourself. Life is too short to wait for people to show up for you. When he comes, he’ll continue with what you have started. You have yourself to show up to, and this is all you’ll really ever have. Any other person is an addition, so it’s time to hug and cuddle yourself in the true ethos of love, in the language of its manifestation.”